Retired Mecklenburg Chief District Judge Bill Jones was honored Tuesday for his work with juvenile and family courts.
Jones received a special commendation from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for his success in bridging the gap between child welfare and domestic violence advocates. The award was presented by District Court Judge Louis Trosch, Jr., who worked with Jones for more than a decade.
While writing his speech, Trosch struggled with deciding how to identify Jones—as his former boss, as a mentor, as a friend. Ultimately, there was only one choice for the right word, he said.
“Really, Bill Jones is my hero,” Trosch said.
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The ceremony took place at The Ivey, an adult daycare center that specializes in working with memory disorders. Jones is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is a member of the facility.
“The day-to-day is just so hard now,” said his son, Eric Jones. “It’s really nice to have a chance to reflect on the good stuff.”
Jones’ work has made him “a legendary figure” in the world of family court judges, Trosch said. His impact was felt both locally and nationally. In addition to his efforts to unite child welfare and domestic violence activists, he worked to establish innovative guidelines and best practices for family court proceedings.
“He pushed the idea of getting off the bench and working with the different stakeholders,” Trosch said.
Colleagues particularly remember Jones for his persistence and dedication, Trosch noted.
Jones was joined by his family for the award presentation. While his Alzheimer’s diagnosis has been challenging for all, the ceremony provided a pleasant opportunity to reflect, family members said.
“I know this means a lot to him, even though he’s not able to express it right now,” said his son, Brian Jones.